Access Fund Spring 2018 roundup

Access Fund Spring 2018 roundup

Picture of Alan Lynch

BY: Alan Lynch
18 Jun 2018

The latest round of Access Fund closed before Easter, and we saw examples of some terrific projects supporting young people who face barriers to access & inclusion. Huge congratulations to those centres who received funding! Here’s a taste of what the Access Fund is supporting in this round, with details on when the applications will be opening later this year.

During our most recent round we were able to award 15 centres with funding, a really difficult task as we had a lot of great applications to choose from. However, these centres really stood out (all for different reasons) and we are now excited to start engaging their young people with a host of Arts Award projects. These 15 projects are aiming to support the following levels:

117 Discover

64 Explore

73 Bronze

18 Silver

4 Gold

Afghan Association Paiwand 001That’s a combined 276 young people who will be offered the opportunity to complete their Arts Award journey this year. For some it may be the first step towards learning about a new art form while others may be developing themselves as arts leaders of the future. No matter where they are in their journey as artists we’re proud to be supporting these young people in overcoming barriers to creative engagement, through these projects and below we highlight just a few examples of projects aiming to achieve this.

Centre 1

Centre 1 is a children’s charity who will target children from refugee and asylum-seeking families, many of whom face PTSD and other mental health issues following their journey to the UK. Based on feedback from previous groups, the centre will offer a series of music programmes and accredit this activity using different Arts Award levels. These workshops will give young people the chance to learn and practice a range of styles from around the world, including music from their own culture. Each group will work towards a performance for family and friends designed to build confidence and creativity while integrating these young people into their new communities.

Centre 2

This centre works with young people who are hospitalised or cannot attend mainstream schools due to physical and mental health conditions. These young people often cannot gain qualifications, so Arts Award provides an opportunity to develop skills and confidence, representing a huge achievement for everyone in the group. The Adviser will focus early sessions on creating a welcoming and relaxed environment to ensure that all young people are comfortable and feel safe. This grant will be used to bring forth experiences otherwise not available in this setting, such as live performances and artist workshops helping to develop young people’s artistic awareness in a way that hasn’t been done before. The centre hopes that efforts will result in more positive outcomes for all participants.

Centre 3

Young people working with this centre are all disabled and cannot access live arts experiences without specialist support. This project will be built around exploring the work of other disabled artists as young people witnesses a live performance by a circus group which includes disabled performers; before working alongside disabled artist mentors to develop their own arts skills. This exposure to disabled professional artists will help to show young people how the barriers they face can be overcome and encourage them to push themselves creatively. This ambitious programme is the first step in formalising links between the centre, professional artists and other partner organisations through raising aspirations of disabled young people that they all work with.

Plan your own application

If you work with young people who could benefit from an Access Fund grant, head over to There you’ll find details on who is eligible to apply; what the grant can be spent on; and how to submit an application. The next round opens on 17 September 2018, so there’s plenty of time to get thinking!

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